Terrine of Vegetable Ratatouille

3 eggplants, peeled
10 roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled and seeded
4 zucchini
4 bell peppers, blanched, peeled and seeded
4 tablespoons basil, chiffonade
2 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoons garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoons unflavored gelatin powder
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Slice eggplants, set aside. Slice zucchini lengthwise and set aside.

Place tomato juice in a small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin powder over tomato juice and let sit for about 10 minutes to soften. Heat over medium/low heat until gelatin dissolves (about 3-5 minutes). Set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet, temperature should be around 200°F. Cook eggplant slices until they yield to slight pressure. Drain on some paper towels or brown paper. Repeat the process for the zucchini.

Line a terrine mold (or a large loaf pan, in which case you'll probably have enough vegetables to make two) with parchment paper. Place 8 slices of eggplant lengthwise in the terrine, overlapping slightly. This will serve as the base of the terrine. Building up from this, line the terrine entirely with remaining eggplant slices, going up the sides and the ends. You should now have a dish that is completely covered in eggplant slices. Cut the red pepper into wide slices, approximately the width of the terrine. Place on layer of red bell peppers along the width of the mold. Brush with some tomato juice and sprinkle on some basil. Follow with a layer of slices tomatoes brushed with tomato juice and sliced basil. Add another layer of eggplant, followed by a layer of zucchini, then another layer of eggplant, then peppers. Use the tomato juice at all stages to cohere. Finish with an overlapping layer of eggplant slices to cover the terrine. Wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

To serve:
Use an electric knife (or a very sharp regular knife) and slice in 1/2 inch thickness. Garnish with a bouquet of mesclun and serve with basil oil dressing.

Yield: 18 Slices

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